All About Colonial America
Like other nations around the globe, America also became a colonial territory specifically by colonizing countries as England, the Netherlands, France, and Spain. English people were the first ones to colonize America. Before colonizers from England discovered America, many explorers have already reached and landed on the place. Colonizers of America have several reasons for colonizing countries. One of them is mercantilism. Mercantilism is a system wherein the government and the merchants in Britain agreed to exclude other empires and even other merchants, the purpose of which is to rise in politics, maintain their power as persons in the position, as well as increase their wealth. Another reason for colonization is religious persecution. Expanding the members of a colonizer country's religion is a sign of power, thus, when it is achieved, they could govern the place or the country that they have colonized.
History tells that the first place where the colonizers had arrived was in Jamestown, Virginia. It occurred in the year 1607. While there are already native Americans residing in the uplands of the place, the new settlers were not welcomed very well that the natives tried to throw them out of the place only to fail in the end. It took years though, before the new settlers were able to own a land in the place, followed by the success of the tobacco industry. The English resided in the place until the significant arrival of the people from Africa in 1619. In 1624, Virginia was declared as a royal colony.
In December 21, 1620, English Puritans, also known as Pilgrim Fathers, traveled from England to America to escape religious restrictions happening in their place of origin. They landed in Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth, Harbor. There, the Pilgrims met William Bradford, who became the leader of their government later when the Mayflower Compact was created. Eight years later, some of the Pilgrims who do not agree very much with the present government formed the Massachusetts Bay Company and continued their stay in Boston. The Plymouth Colony later joined the Massachusetts Bay Company.
Due to some major disagreements with the provisions and rules implemented in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a group of Puritans, through the leadership of Thomas Hooker, tried to look for other areas where they can settle until they decided to stay in Connecticut, specifically in the River Valley. Three other settlements finally joined them in 1969, which led to the creation of the first written constitution in America, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Through the said constitution, a unified government was formed in 1662 which was proclaimed by King Charles II.
On the other hand, while the troop of Hooker found their own place in Connecticut, another group headed by Roger Williams, also decided to separate from the Massachusetts Bay Colony due to Williams' observation that their freedom for religion is being usurped and that the need for the separation of the state and church is already necessary. These led the group to Rhode Islands, which later gave way to the creation of the Providence. Another personality in the name of Anne Hutchinson, together with two other settlements, were also banished from their old colony which paved way for them joining that of Williams'. These four settlements later received an order from England for a new government which they called the Rhode Island.
In 1679, New Hampshire, through the leadership of John Mason, another settlement was separated from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was given royal charter by England. In 1620, Maine was declared an independent state. It was led by Ferdinand Gorges.
In 1649, an act which states that Christians are free to choose their way of worship, the Toleration Act, was passed. It started when King Charles I gave a land which was later called Maryland, to Lord Baltimore. The intention of this gift is to make the land a Catholic area.
During 1663, King Charles II gave land to eight of his men, which they called Carolina. This area was later divided into two separate states, the North and South Carolina.
The Dutch owned a land called New Netherland. King Charles gave it to his brother, James, as a gift. Only he has to take it from the Dutch. New Netherland was later called New York after it was taken away from the Dutch in a peaceful way.
In addition, New Jersey was granted to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley and it was declared a royal colony in 1702. William Penn, on the other hand, received a land from the King, the largest in the New World, which he named Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, has a land area, which was founded by Peter Minuit. It created its own legislature later in 1703 and became a separate state named Delaware. Georgia, a place located between South Carolina and Florida, was also given charter through James Oglethorpe and became a royal colony in 1752.
Websites For Learning All About Colonial America
- Archiving Early America
- Colonial America Resources
- Colonial American Gazette
- Colonial Hall: Biographies of America's Founding Fathers -
- Cultural Readings: Colonization and Print in the Americas
- The Early America Review
- Historic Object and Image
- The Liberty Tree
- Maps of Colonial America
- Our Country Vol 1
- The People of Colonial Albany Live Here
- Squantum (Squanto) and Cupids
- Trade in Colonial America